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I leave on Thursday morning for Hobart to attend a Pain conference conducted by David Butler, one of the authors of a fabulous book called Explain Pain (Lorimer Moseley is the other author). I am really looking forward to finally attending one of these workshops. I have attended a conference where Lorimer has conducted just a couple of sessions and it was so refreshing and enlightening. Helping women (and some men) with chronic pelvic pain is a huge challenge and I am hoping that there will be concepts and ideas that can enhance my treatment skills with these very complex patients.

Living with chronic pain constantly is very draining, not just for the patient, but has a ripple effect on family, friends and work colleagues (if the patient is able to still work with their pain condition). Different pain conditions in the pelvis include painful bladder syndrome (also known as interstitial cystitis) -a condition of extreme urinary frequency, urgency and pain as the bladder fills; proctalgia fugax- deep rectal pain that often wakes the patient at night; vulvodynia- a painful vaginal condition of unknown causes that often has an associated stinging burning sensation in the vulva, causes painful intercourse and can even cause considerable discomfort just wearing tight clothing; dyspareunia painful intercourse; coccydynia- pain in the coccyx; levator spasm- spasm or tightness in the pelvic floor muscles is a symptom which can be associated with many of the previous conditions due to an overactivity in these muscles. For example if the patient constantly struggles with an urgent bladder and is always having to work hard to hold on, then the pelvic floor muscles can demonstrate tightness and exacerbate pelvic pain.

Treatment strategies for many of these conditions include good education about bladder and bowel function, including good bladder habits; correct postures for bladder and bowel; advice regarding sexual dysfunction; and an important component is using dilators to help massage these tight pelvic floor muscles. (The dilators are available for purchase).
Well that’s all for now – after conferences there are always new exciting concepts and ideas to try. I will be sure to share them with you when I am back.